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In brief: Red-light cameras have grace period

A 30-day warning period begins today for new red-light cameras in the downtown Spokane area.

Beginning at 8 a.m., drivers caught on camera running a red light will earn a warning notice for the vehicle owner.

No fine is attached, yet. Red-light runners will begin receiving $124 citations on July 31.

The new cameras are at westbound Second Avenue at Walnut Street, southbound Maple Street at Second and eastbound Third Avenue at Browne Street.

Spokane already has seven intersections equipped with cameras that have captured more than 23,000 violations since Oct. 1, 2008:

Browne Street southbound at Sprague Avenue; Hamilton Street northbound at Mission Avenue; Division Street north- and southbound at Francis Avenue; Wellesley Avenue eastbound at Ash Street; Freya Street northbound at Third Avenue; southbound Thor Street at second and westbound Second Avenue at Thor; and Division Street northbound at Sprague Avenue.

Meghann M. Cuniff

Anti-gang website now operational

A new website has been launched to help combat gang activity in Spokane County.

The website, developed by the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council and the Spokane Violent Crime Gang Enforcement Team, allows citizens to submit antonymous tips about gang activity.

Tipsters are given a tracking number to check the status of the tip, and law enforcement will be able to tell them whether action has been taken or if more information is needed.

“Active involvement and communication with the public is extremely important in making this website a success,” according to a news release. “Giving the public a way to be heard and have their tips validated should encourage continual involvement by the community in this gang effort.”

The website includes information on gangs such as the Crips and Bloods as well as outlaw motorcycle gangs and white supremacist groups.

Look for billboards promoting the website through Spokane County.

Visit the website at www.stopspokanegangs .org.

Meghann M. Cuniff